Why do Minnesotans put up with this?

On June 23rd, the MPCA “Citizens’ Board” held its last meeting, the board having been abolished by the Minnesota Legislature with the consent of Governor Mark Dayton.

Some very smart, well-informed people must have written the environmental laws of Minnesota in the 1960s and 1970s.  The Citizens’ Board seems to have been designed to keep the MPCA from becoming overly bureaucratic, self-serving, and too closely tied to the interests it was supposed to regulate.  These, of course, are the normal evolutionary tendencies of a regulatory agency, kept down only by constant effort.  No wonder the Chamber and “big-ag,” etc, wanted the Citizens’ Board gone.

Back to the June 23rd meeting, in the basement boardroom of the MPCA, beginning at 9:00 am and ending about 6:30 pm. What I observed, having been there all day, seemed rather different from the media reports I have seen.  No need, however, to take my word for anything.  You can see many of the documents and watch video of the meeting here. Continue Reading →

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Welcome….

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Minnesota is rich in blogs, and rich in alternative media such as The Uptake and Daily Planet.  Is another blog really needed?  Good question!   My main reason for setting it up is to have a place to archive and link to various emails and posts I’ve sent about Minnesota environmental issues. Continue Reading →

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“Zero Waste” or more polluting, carbon-belching incineration??

HighTechToilet

“Zero Waste” or more polluting, carbon-belching incineration??

Decisions have consequences.  Minneapolis people in the 1980s put up a strong fight against building the HERC garbage burner in Minneapolis.  They lost, and got decades of polluted air, inflated bills, and a recycling rate of 17 percent.  It was an expensive loss.  This is finally turning around, we think, but only because over the last few years people put up a strong fight against expanded burning at the HERC. Continue Reading →

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Five of Minnesotas eight Congresscritters voted to weaken/block EPA regulation of coal ash:

Congress makes the wrong move on coal ash rules

H.R. 1734 and Senate companion bill S. 1803 are intended to prevent EPA’s (weak) coal ash regulation rule from going into effect.  165 Democrats voted against 1734 and only 19 voted for it.  239 Republicans vote for it and only ONE against.  Stats here. Continue Reading →

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Commentary: City must be diligent on solar

http://www.republican-eagle.com/letters/3804007-commentary-city-must-be-diligent-solar

By Alan Muller

 Red Wing
The Legislature and the Public Utilities Commission have focused attention on the relationships between Xcel Energy and solar garden developers, but given little attention to the relationships between developers and “subscribers.” What would the contracts look like? What would the actual cost be? What protections would subscribers and landowners have if a developer failed? What are the true benefits to subscribers and investors?

Continue Reading →

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US House of Reps., most MN members, vote for Monsanto

Update:  It’s important to note that this bill is NOT about banning GMO foods, it’s ONLY about labeling so people can make their own decisions.

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Action:  Contact Senators.

From the Organic Consumers Association:

DARK Day in D.C.

Yesterday, 275 members (see vote tally here) of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 1599, the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. By voting for the DARK Act, these politicians voted against truth and transparency, against science, against the more than century-old right of states to legislate on matters relating to food safety and labeling.

They voted against the 90-percent of Americans who are in favor of mandatory labeling of GMOs. They voted against the producers of non-GMO foods.

They voted against you.

Now that the DARK Act has been approved by the House, we’ll have to stop it in the Senate. We have to move fast­because Monsanto is desperate to pass a bill that preempts mandatory GMO labeling laws at the state and federal levels, before Vermont’s GMO labeling law takes effect next year.

H.R. 1599 was sold to Congress via multi-million dollar public relations and lobbying campaigns built on lies and deception. The bill’s sole purpose is to support an industry–Monsanto’s poison-peddling industry–­that was founded on lies and deception from the get-go.

Were the Congress members who voted against you fooled by Monsanto’s slick, deceitful packaging of this so-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”? Or did they simply vote with their wallets, stuffed full of biotech and junk food industry cash?

Continue Reading →

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“This $153,000 rattlesnake bite is everything wrong with American health care”

Yeppers.

 

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Self-explanatory

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EPA Community Air Monitoring Training Webinar

Webinar:  Thursday 9 July 2015, 09:00 AM – 12:30 PM [Note:  8 (not 10!) Central Time!] Continue Reading →

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Air Quality Index reaches 200 in St. Michael, Minnesota

Air Quality Index of 200 in St. Michael, MN, in July 6, 2015 at 1500

Air Quality Index of 200 in St. Michael, MN, in July 6, 2015 at 1500

http://aqicn.org/city/usa/minnesota/st.-michael/

Continue Reading →

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MPCA, Monday: “Air quality in the northern 2/3 of Minnesota is unhealthy for everyone.”

Notes:

See “current conditions” here.

Conditions are reported as CODE RED–over 150–in Brainerd, Ely, and Virginia. Duluth is reporting 149. This is just for “fine particles (PM2.5). Ozone levels are low at the moment but are forecast to increase to CODE YELLOW levels later in the week.

Fine particles, ozone, heat, humidity and allergens (pollen, mold, etc.) are cumulative health stressors. Take the health threat seriously! Continue Reading →

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Bad air on the Fourth of July……

Image from KSTP:  https://www.facebook.com/KSTPTV/photos/a.384759236951.163883.313623491951/10153465445446952/?type=1 (Thanks to Carol Overland for locating this.)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) sends us a warning:

“Poor air quality in central Minnesota due to forest fires in Canada” Continue Reading →

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